The Most Common Materials Used In Manufacturing And Their Benefits

The manufacturing industry is one of the most important aspects of a country’s economy. Many countries specialize in different types of products to be manufactured and exported across the globe. The process behind creating these products can be very intensive, straining lots of resources and oftentimes leading to pollution. However, some materials have been developed to reduce this strain on both production and the environment as a whole. In this article, we will list some common materials used in manufacturing and point out their benefits.

Plastic

Plastic is a synthetic material that comes from a group of polymers, or long molecules made up of many repeating units. The most common types are thermoplastic and thermosetting plastics, which can be heated to become pliable and then cooled to take their original shape. This process can be repeated to form a strong bond between parts without using any additional materials.

 

As a result, plastics have been widely adopted by the manufacturing industry because they can be molded into shapes for a variety of applications including food packaging, artificial joints, floor tiles, etc. On top of this, since plastic does not corrode or biodegrade easily as wood or metal does, it lasts much longer than other construction materials and reduces the need for recycling after its initial use.

Vespel

Vespel is a non-metallic, thermoplastic material with high mechanical strength that does not conduct heat or electricity. It was originally developed in the 1960s by a group of Russian scientists who were looking for a material that could be used to construct bearings.

 

Using this material has many benefits. The most useful vespel properties include chemical inertness, high dielectric strength, good thermal stability, low coefficients of friction and wear, non-flammability in air. Due to its wear resistance, this material is commonly found in applications where metal would normally have been used including door hinges, ball bearings, etc. On top of this, it can withstand temperatures up to 300°C which makes it ideal for use in environments with extreme heat like rocket engines and solar panels.

Wood

Wood is a versatile material that has been used for thousands of years. Its widespread use is due to its relatively low production costs and the benefits it provides, such as being an insulator, renewable, stable, recyclable, and most importantly, biodegradable. Because wood does not produce any harmful by-products when it degrades like other materials do (i.e., steel), landfills can decompose wood quickly without releasing any toxins into the environment.

These factors make wood an ideal construction material for many different types of products ranging from houses to furniture. Wooden boards can be glued together with adhesives like polyurethane or epoxy to increase their durability and reduce the need for maintenance.

Metal

Found in almost every manufactured object today, metal is one of the most versatile and durable materials used in manufacturing. It is created by taking ore containing metallic elements such as iron, aluminum, magnesium, titanium, or copper and then refining it to separate the metal from other elements that make up the ore. This results in a high-purity form that can be molded into shapes like sheets/ strips/ bars which are then rolled into tubes/ rods/ wires for use in products like cars and medical equipment.

 

There are many benefits from using this type of material including being non-toxic so it doesn’t harm the environment and being able to be recycled multiple times without losing its shape. Some of them are corrosion resistant so they last a long time in harsh environments. The best part is that there are so many types of metals available it makes finding the right one for the job much easier.

Steel

Steel is a metal alloy composed of iron and carbon in addition to numerous other trace elements. It is widely used as a construction material because it has high tensile strength, can be shaped into various components, and is relatively inexpensive. Due to its widespread use, steel production makes up approximately 1/6th of global greenhouse emissions, leading many communities to find alternative methods of production that are less harmful to the environment.

The industry has developed several different types of steel that take out or replace some of these metals with substances that do not harm the environment as much (i.e., stainless steel), however, they are more expensive. By producing steel this way, manufacturers can cut back on costs without sacrificing the quality of their products while helping to protect the environment.

Glass

Glass is a hard, brittle substance that is made from silica and other compounds in a solution known as a ‘flux.’ When molten glass is cooled at a controlled rate, its surface becomes very smooth and flat, which makes it ideal for windows and mirrors. Since glass does not corrode or break down over time as metals do, buildings constructed using glass can last centuries without needing much maintenance.

On top of this, when recycled correctly (i.e., crushed into small pieces), glass does not release any harmful by-products into the environment and can be reused to make new products rather than having to start over with raw materials. This material can also be formed into different shapes and sizes to create transparent housings for electrical equipment such as light bulbs, ovens, televisions, computers, etc.

Rubber

Rubber is a versatile organic polymer that comes from the sap of trees in the Hevea genus (i.e., rubber trees). The first step in producing rubber is to extract the sap and refine it into ‘vulcanized’ lumps known as latex. Vulcanization is a process where the air is forced between chains of molecules so they become more durable and can better resist heat and other chemicals. After processing, rubber can be molded into any shape to make several products such as tires, gaskets, tubing, medical equipment, vesicles (insulating boots), and insulation for buildings.

Modifications to its chemical composition also give it special properties such as being able to stretch or bounce back into shape after being compressed/ bent/ twisted. The wide range of properties that come from modifying the type of synthetic rubber used in manufacturing is what makes it so useful.

The high level of specialization in the production process for each material is what makes it so useful. The materials discussed here are the most common ones used in the manufacturing industry due to their high performance and relatively low cost.  When making products, these are the materials that will be looked at first due to their dependability and availability in the market. Hence, manufacturers must make an effort to understand which materials are best suited for their products to ensure high performance and reliability every time.

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